IEEE Transactions on Computers

IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC) is a monthly publication that publishes research in such areas as computer organizations and architectures, digital devices, operating systems, and new and important applications and trends.

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From the November 2017 issue

Enhancing Energy Efficiency of Multimedia Applications in Heterogeneous Mobile Multi-Core Processors

By Young Geun Kim, Minyong Kim, and Sung Woo Chung

Featured article thumbnail imageRecent smart devices have adopted heterogeneous multi-core processors which have high-performance big cores and low-power small cores. Unfortunately, the conventional task scheduler for heterogeneous multi-core processors does not provide appropriate amount of CPU resources for multimedia applications (whose QoS is important to users), resulting in energy waste; it often executes multimedia applications and non-multimedia applications on the same core. In this paper, we propose an advanced task scheduler for heterogeneous multi-core processors, which provides appropriate amount of CPU resources for multimedia applications. Our proposed task scheduler isolates multimedia applications from non-multimedia applications at runtime, exploiting the fact that multimedia applications have a specific thread for video/audio playback (to play video/audio, a multimedia application should use a function that generates the specific thread). Since multimedia applications usually require a smaller amount of CPU resources than non-multimedia applications due to dedicated hardware decoders, our proposed task scheduler allocates the former to the small cores and the latter to the big cores. In our experiments on an Android-based development board, our proposed task scheduler saves system-wide (not just CPU) energy consumption by 8.9 percent, on average, compared to the conventional task scheduler, preserving QoS of multimedia applications. In addition, it improves performance of non-multimedia applications by 13.7 percent, on average, compared to the conventional task scheduler.

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